C'mon Inner Peace… I Don't Have All Damn Day
What an amazing journey we have had!
Many of you have been following our story… from when we first met, our engagement, the visa denial, the marriage and finally our visa approval… nearly 4 years later.
If you have not, you can check out the links at the bottom and catch up, or even better, SUBSCRIBE. I LOVE my subscribers for always supporting us, listening to our mishaps, and cheering us on.
Manny has been in the United States about 3 months now.
I have to say, this new part of our journey is the most interesting to write about. I don’t have to give you the mundane details of our process any longer, nope; I can delight in recounting the tales of an Indian man adjusting to the United States for the first time.
These ridiculous stories, are what I live for. (Sorry babe, but making fun of you is my new favorite hobby.)
We picked-up Manny from the Orlando airport. While we were waiting for him to clear the P.O.E. (point of entry) I picked up some Mini-Cinnabon for him to snack on for the two hour ride back to the Tampa area. He loves them, along with crumb cake, cheese cake, and Domino’s new garlic bread.
I would say this was a good introduction to the United States… Fast food, commercially processed garbage.
In actuality though, Manny and I both, are very healthy eaters… although his knowledge of healthy eating sometimes leaves me scratching my head in wonder.
Being in America straight outta India, though, has been slightly problematic in many ways.
Needless to say, our food-adventures have been “A-Mazing” filled with concoctions to blow your mind… and upset your stomach.
Hummus, guacamole, and peanut butter sandwich… need I say more? I didn’t think so.
Until now, Manny’s impression of Florida was pretty bleak. We live on an island “in paradise,” but he was not welcomed with open arms, and we were both feeling suffocated by the ignorance of the “New America.”
I heard some very upsetting and hurtful news, and decided a change of scenery was the best option.
If you know me at all, the wanderlust-bug bit me at a very early age, and I tend to solve all life’s dilemmas on the road.
Or, I don’t solve a damn thing… but a good time is always had by all.
We packed up the Lincoln, and headed for the hills. First stop? Cherokee, North Carolina.
Being part Native American, I wanted to show Manny the genuine, spiritual side of the Native Americans. So, we rented a cabin on a river, and enjoyed a different type of paradise.
We made s’mores by the campfire, and even rode a party-bus, complete with dancer-pole and disco ball, into town with the family to the Harrah’s Casino for dinner.
I am VERY happy to say that we did not win a single dollar. Indians (from India) DO NOT like to give away money… and thankfully, we were given a voucher to play with someone else’s money… so, all kinds of SCORE.
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is a short, but beautiful, hour-long drive over the Smoky Mountains. I was shocked to find so much to do there. The Alpine Slide was pretty awesome, and we even walked through a cave.
Tennessee was incredible and far exceeded my expectations.
Outside of the Cherokee Reservation though, parts of North Carolina lived up to the racist impression I’ve always had… PLUS zero vegetarian options, so we were STARVING much of the time.
Southern food is jammed packed with pork, or as I was told, “just for taste.”
One restaurant in Maggie Valley refused to take items off our check when ALL four side-orders of veggies included meat… and we specifically asked for vegetarian options.
Even in the open minded, “liberal” town of Asheville… two waitresses mistook my husband to be Muslim…
We overheard one server say, “I’m scared to wait on that guy.” And… she didn’t. We never got served.
I will ALWAYS stand-up for my Muslim brothers and sisters; I’ve seen first-hand the discrimination they go through, and I send a virtual hug.
It’s hard enough when a long distance couple is trying to adjust, but to have to deal with so much outside negativity it exceptionally daunting. Luckily, it bothers me more than it does Manny.
After the serenity of the Cherokee Reservation, my mom needed to unexpectedly head north to our home in New Jersey. We decided to take the scenic route for Manny via the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and the Cape May-Lewes Ferry; a coastline tour of the northeastern shores.
Manny said it was “magical,’ and fell in love with my Jersey culture INSTANTLY.
Maybe… his Punjabi heritage slightly resembles the loud, obnoxious, yet overwhelmingly loving people of New Jersey?
Hmmm? I’m starting to see our similarities.
This comparison did not hit me until my husband came to life while visiting my local diner.
The waitresses there are like family; having worked in the same spot for decades, they welcomed him with LOUD hugs, kisses and non-judgmental SQUEALS of pure love.
So, my husbands first impression of New Jersey… FAR exceeded the weird looks and cold shoulders he received in Florida.
After three months of frustration, alienation and culture shock, it was refreshing to see my husband smile and relax. He was finally ALIVE, and adjusting to the United States.
During the few days that we spent in New Jersey, my husband fell in love with not only my personal friends, but my entire culture.
We were invited over people’s houses for fire-pit chats, homemade dinners and get-togethers; a comfort which reminded him of home.
The farms and Pine Barrens were especially refreshing to him, since he gravitates towards a village lifestyle.
And, every one of my Jersey friends approved of my husband without awkward whispers or gossip.
He got to see the Ocean City Boardwalk for his first 4th of July, and fell in love with the chaos of Philadelphia. He loved the diversity of the people, and truly wished we could move the family back home to New Jersey.
As much as Manny LOVES the North East.. I also think he finally appreciates how lucky we are to live on an island, and experience a laid back tropical lifestyle.
When we got home, we spent the evening floating in the Gulf of Mexico as a family… but we’re also keeping our eyes wide open for new beginnings.
We have options, just sayin…
I think our get-a-way really did him good. He is happier more often, and he doesn’t shut down much anymore. I can tell there has been a shift in his attitude, and a willingness to try to assimilate to his adopted culture.
My son had a Skimboarding competition in Palm Beach. Manny was laughing and throwing the kids around in the pool; last month this would have freaked him out.
He even packed a variety of clothing, not just the same clothes he brought from India.
It’s obvious there is much more comfort in talking with people, and now that he has discovered salad, vegetarian options at restaurants are less frustrating.
We’ve really had a great few weeks.
Learning to be a husband and stepdad is a tough job for anyone, but doing it within a new culture has got to be overwhelming. I’m proud of him!
Admittedly, the first month or two was an extremely rough adjustment for all of us. This is a roller coaster ride where many couples may not bode well.
I’m also very proud of my son for his third-place win at Skim the Globe this past weekend, keep it up kiddo, Mommy loves you.
My heart fills with joy watching Manny and my son create their own relationship, one I hope continues to grow a strong bond.
A tight family has always been my dream.
It warms my heart watching my husband support my sons water-sports because there was a time I was concerned he may never step away from his computer screen to enjoy our outdoor lifestyle.
You can follow our entire story in the links below.
Each day my stats show hundreds of girls searching for answers about their Indian boyfriend. This is not an easy path to choose, but it is certainly one of the most beautiful if you can get past the cultural barriers, hate, ignorance and doubts.
Contact me for information on support groups. There are literally hundreds of us… YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Follow our story in the links below:
Culture Shock, what to expect?”—> HERE
Six Months in America —> HERE
Read about when I met “My Indian Boyfriend “—>HERE
My Big Fat Sikh Wedding: Indian Astrology —> HERE
My Big Fat Sikh Wedding: The Dress —> HERE
Surviving Long Distance Love—> HERE
Open Letter to my Husband—> HERE
Our Honeymoon, Rishikesh India—> HERE
K1 Fiance Visa Process—> HERE
US Embassy Interview for K1—> HERE
Cr1 Spousal Visa: The Timeline —> HERE
Cr1 Spousal Visa: Interview Questions —>HERE
Journey to New Delhi—> HERE
First Trip to Jaipur India —> HERE
Our First Diwali—> HERE
Giving Thanks, Shukryia —> HERE
Being Sikh in America—> HERE
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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sailaway from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain